At its 142nd Commencement, Elmhurst College will award honorary degrees to two prominent alumni of the College and the president of the leading national organization devoted to advancing undergraduate education.
The 2013 honorary degree recipients are wireless communications leader Linda Marshall ’85, who will deliver the Commencement address; Dr. Paul DeBruine ’55, trustee emeritus of the College; and Carol Geary Schneider, president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities.
Linda Marshall has been a pioneer in the wireless communications industry and has more than two decades of experience in strategic business and revenue planning, product marketing, engineering and network design. She was one of the first employees of Verizon Wireless, then a breakthrough company, where she served as vice president of regional finance. At Sprint/Nextel Communications, she launched the first digital wireless system in the Midwest and held several executive roles. Success in those and other roles led to her appointment as the president of OnStar, a division of General Motors, where she was responsible for leading the company’s worldwide safety, security and connected information services initiatives for six million customers. Today, she leads her own independent consultancy, the Weblyn Group, which provides strategic direction to companies in the telecommunications, wireless and health care industries. She also serves on the advisory board for Childhelp USA, which provides foster care and adoption services in Michigan and nationally. Marshall graduated from Elmhurst College in 1985 with a bachelor of science degree in accounting and business. She will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws.
Paul H. DeBruine is a retired anesthesiologist and a trustee emeritus on the Elmhurst College Board of Trustees. A longtime anesthesiologist at Decatur Memorial Hospital in Decatur, Illinois, Dr. DeBruine has served as president of the Macon County Medical Society and the Associated Anesthesiologists of Decatur, and also has served as chairman of the anesthesiology department at Decatur Memorial Hospital. He also has served as president of the Macon County Conservation District and chairman of Millikin University Associates. He was a member of Elmhurst College’s Board of Trustees for 20 years, from 1982 to 2002, before becoming a trustee emeritus. The College awarded him the Alumni Merit Award in 1967 and the Founders Award in 2003. In 2009, in memory of his son, Jeffrey, Dr. DeBruine and his family contributed a memorial gift to Elmhurst College in support of the College’s Science and Health Initiative. Dr. DeBruine graduated from Elmhurst College in 1955 with a bachelor of science degree, and then attended the Washington University School of Medicine. His wife, Ruth K. DeBruine, is a member of the Elmhurst College Class of 1956. Dr. DeBruine will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Science.
Carol Geary Schneider is president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, the leading national association concerned with the quality, vitality and public standing of undergraduate liberal education. Under Schneider’s leadership, AAC&U, which has nearly 1,300 member institutions, launched Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP), a public advocacy and campus action initiative designed to engage students and the public with what really matters in a college education for the 21st century. Additionally, under her leadership, AAC&U has become widely recognized as both a voice and force for strengthening the quality of learning in college for all students. Professor Schneider has published extensively and has taught at the University of Chicago, DePaul University, Chicago State University and Boston University. She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College, has studied at the University of London's Institute for Historical Research and earned her Ph.D. in history from Harvard University. She has received numerous awards, including a Mina Shaughnessy Award from the U.S. Department of Education and the 2013 Boyer Award from the National Association of Colleges and Universities. Schneider will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.
The three Elmhurst College honorary degree recipients were recommended to the Elmhurst College Board of Trustees by the College’s faculty and president. The Board approved the awards during its meeting in March.
The 142nd Elmhurst College Commencement ceremonies will take place on Saturday, June 1, 2013.